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March 29, 2012

Prerequisites of Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

Losing a loved one due to the negligence of other people is a lot painful than plain death. The surviving family members will probably find it hard to cope, especially if the relative who died was the one financing the family.

The statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) shows that there were about 588 traffic fatalities in 2009. Several cases of road traffic accidents – rollovers, collisions, and crashes – were reported, and happened to both children and adults.

Often, negligence is the primary reason of wrongful death. If you are one of those who lost a relative due to wrongful death, contact a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles immediately. By doing such, you can expect prompt action regarding your case, all the way to a successful settlement or court decision.
Once the liability of the wrongdoer is proven, the plaintiff will be qualified to receive compensation for the damages. As regards the amount, the jury or the local administrator will be the one to decide after a thorough evaluation. However, before pursuing a lawsuit, the prospective complainant must know first the following basic requirements:

March 16, 2012

Bicycle and Motor Vehicle Collisions at the Crossroads

Bicycles are considered vehicles on the roadway, with the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles. This is stipulated under federal and state laws.

While bike riders are required to adhere to the traffic rules and regulations, many of them still get involved in deadly collisions with other vehicles. Statistics show that out of 630 fatalities recorded in 2009, 11 percent of them involved a collision with a motor vehicle.

With this percentage, about 45 percent of them happened on intersections where lots of traffic usually takes place. The 45 percent is an already an alarming statistic, considering that many bikers don’t take the intersections too frequently. There are many factors as to why collisions between a bicycle and a motorized vehicle do happen. Here are some of them:

·         Bikers ride against the traffic. It has a double negative effect; first, it is against the law to ride against the flow of the traffic, and second, it increases the biker’s chances of getting severely injured or killed.

·         Bikers and motorists usually confuse themselves on who has the right-of-way.

To avoid accidents on intersections, the biker must keep in mind the following tips before riding his or her bike:

·         The biker must always be able to let others see him or her. The biker can wear bright and reflective clothing. He or she can also install reflectors and front and rear lamps on the bike, especially when riding at night. This will help motorists in noticing him or her.

·         The biker must be wary of approaching vehicles. He or she must maintain the speed of the bike as dictated by the traffic in the area. The biker must also maintain distance from other vehicles.

·         If a bicycle lane is present, he or she can use it. This will separate the biker from the motor vehicle traffic.

Liability can be held against a driver who injures a biker at any point of the roadway, including intersections. The biker can file a personal injury claim against the driver. But first, he or she must retain the services of an Orange County personal injury lawyer, especially if the injuries sustained are severe.

March 12, 2012

Driver Error: A Leading Cause of Pedestrian Accidents

In a collision between a passenger vehicle and a pedestrian, the definite loser is the latter. Depending on the impact of the collision, the pedestrian can suffer debilitating or even fatal injuries.
Despite various safety improvements done for the benefit of pedestrians and motorists, vehicle-pedestrian accidents are still rampant. In fact, in 2009, 4,092 pedestrians were killed in the United States, accounting to 12 percent of the total number of fatalities.

While drivers are free to move about on highways and thoroughfares, they are still expected to exercise extreme caution when driving in crowded areas and school zones to avoid hurting pedestrians.

Here are some of the common driver errors that can cause a collision with a pedestrian:

·         Ignoring the crosswalk. Many drivers fail to look out for pedestrians crossing the zebra stripes, whether at intersections or at other points of the road. To prevent an accident, drivers must make sure that no pedestrians are near the crosswalk before passing through it.

·         Ignoring traffic light and pedestrian light signals. The chances of an accident increase significantly when drivers tend to pass on a crosswalk without looking at any traffic control device, specifically those that relate to pedestrian traffic.

·         Ignoring a crossing pedestrian. Many vehicle-pedestrian collisions happen because drivers overlook the person/s crossing the roadway. In this regard, drivers are duty-bound to slow down to a full halt and let pedestrians pass before proceeding again.

·         Drunk driving. Alcohol can impair the ability to drive. Aside from the fact that intoxication can cause serious injuries to the driver and to other motorists, it can also put pedestrians at risk. There are cases of such accidents where drunk drivers strike pedestrians who are either walking on a crosswalk or on the sidewalk.